Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bounty on Mr. Snake

It has happened. The first snake sighting of the year. Pretty early for it to happen. I generally am lucky enough not to see one until summertime. Even though I know there are snakes out there, it takes that first-of-the-year sighting for me to get the heebie-geebies enough that I don't want to work out in the yard as much. And that's saying a lot. I love being out there. I would work out in the yard all day long if my schedule allowed. Now I will do it with a large dose of fear. The thing is, when I first saw Mr. Snake, he was lounging in the shade... all stretched out in a long, straight line. It looked very much like the pruned branches that we have lying here and there, that somehow missed getting into the dumpster. I am pretty sure he was mimicking a branch so as to scare the living daylights out of me when I got within a foot of stepping on him. I was only armed with weed spray, and as I found out last year, weed spray does not hurt, maim, or kill a snake. It might make them laugh inside, but not much more. I don't know if I could have killed him with a shovel if one was close by. I wish I could say that for sure I could have, but I doubt it. In fact, when I ran in to the house, I got my camera, and I very easily could have (should have) got the shovel, but I didn't. Then, I came back out and he was still meandering along back by the dog run.

Bleh. I. Hate. Snakes. Oh, and did I mention that this one is easily 2-1/2 feet long? I was close enough to look at him all stretched out and do some calculations. This was important to do, because the first question Bob or any of my kids asks is "How big was it?". And, by the way, my snake-sightings are almost always guaranteed to happen when I am out there alone. I know Bob or Robbie would kill Mr. Snake without a problem... just to help me rest easier, but they are NEVER out there when that snake is.

I might add that I put a very nice bounty on his head last year, but try as he might, Robbie could not find that beast. So, Robbie, if you're reading this... he's in the back by the dog run - probably resting quite peacefully - right next to the arbor. The bounty is still in place.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bob's great invention!

We were able to get a little more work done in the backyard over the weekend. I am amazed how everything is growing so huge so quickly. Look how green it is already!

Everything is starting to turn green and
grow like crazy!

Makes me wonder what it will be like in the middle of summer! Will everything be totally spent by then? I guess its a good thing we're having our wedding events in the middle of June!

Bob fashioned some great garden dividers for me. He is an awesome welder, so he made them up in no time at all. I was having quite a problem getting my Obedient Plant to be obedient. It has grown and spread everywhere. I love the plant and the flowers, but I do not want my entire yard to be one big Obedient Plant. So, Bob made a divider that keeps the plants in their own area. I have a few different patches that I needed to be contained, so he made some that were over 8 feet long.

Bob's great invention: garden dividers!

Its going to be great to have it all doing its thing in its own area, without crowding out my other plants!

Last night we had a Bishop's Youth Discussion at our house with the youth who are 14 years and older. Bob had a great discussion with them all, and then we all went out to the fire pit to roast marshmallows and make s'mores.

First marshmallow roast of the season!

It was a perfect evening for it! The kids all seemed to have a great time, and everyone had their fill of marshmallows and chocolate. It definitely feels like summer is starting (although its still spring for a couple more months!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Personal Progress - me, losing air - Bob

What a week! So many things all going on at once! One great thing that we got crossed off the list was finding Lindsay an outfit to have her engagement photos taken in this coming Monday. We found a cute maxi dress and a little sweater, and I think she's going to wear cowboy boots with it. Should be pretty cute!

I've been feverishly making little wire nests

so that the Beehive girls can finish them up as a Mother's Day gift for their moms.  The finished product will look like one of these:

The girls will wire in as many "eggs" as there are children in their family, and put them in a little organza bag for their moms. Should be fun! I think I have everything all ready for them. I tied it into a Personal Progress Faith Value Experience that has to do with Mothers, so that while we are working on the necklaces, we can also be working on passing off something in their Personal Progress.

I held a Personal Progress Open House yesterday from right after school all through the afternoon and into the early evening. I told the girls to come by any time during that period of time with their Personal Progress books, and we would get the Young Women records caught up, and help them get moving along on some of their other goals in Personal Progress. Eight girls ended up coming, which was great! We have 13 girls, and one of them is brand new, so she didn't have any reason to come (since I just met with her). So really only 4 didn't come. I can easily catch up with them at another time. When the girls came by, I caught up my records with what was in their books, and then had them fill out a little questionnaire about their favorite things, hobbies, etc. We talked about some ideas to help them stay motivated, I took a photo (for later activities), and gave them a treat, and they were on their way. 

Personal Progress treat, tracking sheet,
and questionnaire

I think it was pretty successful, and maybe I'll try to do one every six months or so? We'll see how often I feel like its needed.

Tonight Bob will be taking the Priests over to the shop to teach them how to weld. I think it will be fun for everyone (including Bob). He loves to weld, and loves any excuse to do it! He has been ever so busy lately, that he needs to do something fun like that once whenever he can get it in. Its interesting, but with the calling of Bishop, comes a 24/7 "on call" status. He never really can turn his phone off. When people need him, they really do need him, and he needs to be available whenever that need arises. He is so good at making himself very approachable and available. It is emotionally draining and also physically draining, but he just keeps on going. Today while we were at our regular Wednesday lunch, he said he feels like a big "blow-up" toy, and when he spreads himself to thin it feels like he has a leak and he's just starting to droop and fade. When he was telling me that, his actions were hilarious. It made me really envision him losing air. Funny guy! He is truly the most amazing man I have ever known. And why did I get so lucky as to be his wife? No clue, but I'm pretty darn happy about it!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Gifts for babies and weddings

It rained all day yesterday, and the sun is out today. It is absolutely gorgeous outside! The plants are all bright green, having soaked up the rain, and now soaking up the warmth of the sun. I took advantage of the break in the rainstorms to take a few photos.

Bleeding Hearts in full bloom

Amazing yellow-pink tulips
It could not be more beautiful outside... maybe it could be a little warmer, though! I have to remind myself that it is still the middle of April, and could snow for another month or so. I definitely have a good case of spring fever!

Bob and I have been busy taking baby blankets around to the new babies in our ward. I had a little stack made so that we would always have an extra one or two for the newest babies, but we are all out now. I need to get busy and make some more!

Its fun to go and visit the new families -- especially nice to be able to make the visit with Bob! I think we are all caught up with the baby visits now.

We also made a gift for a couple who has a wedding reception tonight.

I had been making these gifts (for weddings of the kids in our ward) with vinyl lettering cut out from my Silhouette, but this time Bob cut the letters out of wood with his laser cutting machine at work. It turned out pretty nice. I like the dimension of the wood letters. The heart papers are copies of "The Family: A Proclamation to The World". We also will give them a church book along with the framed piece.

I have had one of those weeks where I literally felt like I was running from one thing to the next, and ending up late to more than one appointment. I hate being late. Oh well. Those appointments all had to do with wedding plans: cake tasting, florist, and the caterer. Luckily, Lindsay beat me to all of those appointments, so at least we were represented by someone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter traditions

We had a wonderful Easter weekend! The weather could not have been more perfect! On Friday we had a snowstorm, and had a few inches of snow covering everything. We were a little nervous about how the Easter-egg hunt would go on Saturday... would it be sloshy and muddy and cold?

On Saturday morning we woke up to the bright beautiful sun, and not a sign of the snow that covered everything the day before! The apple-pear blossoms were at their absolute peak that day, too!

Apple-pear blossoms

Our annual Easter-egg hunt is a tradition that has been going on for years and years now. My mom and my sisters and their families all come for "egg hunting" and a hot dog lunch. The sisters or older grand-kids all hide the eggs all over the yard:

and then the "hunters" are all released from inside the house, and the eggs are all found and scooped up in a matter of minutes.  It is amazing how fast it is all over and done with!  My mom and my sisters and I provide the filled eggs -- 12 eggs per child or grandchild that is going to be hunting for eggs. I don't have any grandchildren as of yet, but I figured my big kids would still want to look for eggs, and they did!  At least the girls did! 

Whitney hunting for eggs

Anyway, we always do extra eggs so the kids all end up with plenty of eggs to find! This year I put peeps all around the yard on little wooden skewers as an added decoration and treat to find. I wasn't sure if anyone would actually eat them, but they were completely gone along with the eggs!

A cute little grand-niece eating a Peep-on-a-stick!

All in all, it was a great day! I love getting together and just being able to enjoy each other's company!

On Sunday, after a truly great set of church meetings, we had our kids over for Easter Dinner. Of course we had all the usual fixins: ham, funeral potatoes, salads, and homemade rolls. Again, the best part of all of it is just having our family together. With the busy work and school schedules, we're not always all together, so I love it when it happens!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter decorating!

Just a quick post today... I wanted to post the darling framed Easter egg my daughter Lindsay made for me.  So cute!  Its hard to see the details in this photo, but each different color of fabric has hand-stitching around it in various colors. I love it!  

Patched Easter-egg made by Lindsay

With Easter in just a few days, one would think that I have my house all decorated. Maybe that is exactly why Lindsay made me something Easter-y. It is the only Easter decoration I have displayed in the entire house! And I'm hosting the annual extended family Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. I've been so busy working on getting the outside of the house cleaned up and my dumpster filled, that I may have forgotten that Easter was coming up so quickly. We'll see what I can throw together by Saturday!